The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on a budget of $1.25 a day. To promote awareness of this alarming statistic, many people participate in challenges to see if they can go a certain number of days “living below the line” of poverty. Celebrities like Ben Affleck and Sophia Bush, just to name a few, have participated in the challenge.
For anyone willing to try the challenge, here is a list of 10 possible food combinations, each totaling $1.25 or slightly less.
1. 2.5 oz of store brand lunchmeat + 4 oz of apple sauce = $1.24
2. 1.1 oz bag of corn chips + one banana + half of a 6 oz container of store brand flavored yogurt = $1.24
3. Protein bar = $1.25
Yes, some protein or granola bars can consume an entire day’s budget for the extreme poverty challenge, but only when they are not on sale.
4. Ice cream sundae cup + one banana = $1.25
5. One apple + 6 oz flavored yogurt = $1.09
6. One loaf of store brand white bread + one banana = $1.24
For challenge participants looking to extend the experiment more than a day, buying a loaf of bread for 99 cents is an economically intelligent decision.
7. 10 oz package of sliced American cheese + one chocolate chip cookie = $1.25
Much like the loaf of bread, a package of store brand sliced cheese, priced at $1, can last multiple days.
8. One candy bar + one quarter of a box of frozen spinach + half of a 6 oz container of plain yogurt = $1.24
9. One cereal cup + half of a cucumber = $1.23
10. Half of a can of chicken and rice soup + one bagel + half of an apple = $1.13
A common misinterpretation of the $1.25 statistic is that one American dollar will buy a lot more in an impoverished area than it would in the U.S. The conversion has already been taken into account, though, and tailored for the U.S. to understand better. So, for example, in Kenya, people living in extreme poverty are surviving on the food that approximately 56 cents worth of American currency would buy in their markets.
— Emily Walthouse